Poll: Gun Rights Initiative Losing Support While Background Check Remains Popular

Jul 15, 2014

Support for a gun rights measure on Washington’s fall ballot is flagging, according to a new Elway poll released Tuesday. Meanwhile, a dueling measure that would expand background checks remains popular.

This poll represents a major shift since April — a nine-point drop in support for Initiative 591, which says Washington can’t adopt a stricter gun background check than the feds.

At the same time, Initiative 594 continues to enjoy a 70-percent approval rating. This measure would expand background checks to include person-to-person gun sales in Washington.

Longtime pollster Stuart Elway thinks the numbers show voters are figuring out what each measure would actually do.

“What it looks, to me, like is people are now voting more in accordance with their intention, which is to implement more extensive background checks,” Elway said.

Elway feels confident saying as much, because his polling has generally found Washington voters favor more extensive background checks by a margin of 2 to 1. That said, Elway notes the gun control issue still splits sharply along partisan lines.